Improved BU Shuttle Tracker

buildscc | 20 Sep 2010 | | projects


the BUS now has GPS, which means we can track it. Unfortunately the tracking site is pretty terrible. BU’s BUS tracker refuses to load nicely on default many mobile browsers (android, opera mini, blackberry) doesn’t have any information about bus speed, time to stops, schedule correction due to traffic at that time etc. We want to change this.

GPS system on the BUS

currently don’t know. will update when find out/someone who knows posts it (John?), may (will?) have impact on chosen software.

Software Options

Google Maps BU’s ‘official’ site uses google maps. Real time tracking is certainly possible using google maps. There are other mapping softwares available such as openlayers, something by microsoft and a few more. I don’t know much about any of these. Anyone who does, feel free to voice their opinions.

OpenGTS is a free real time GPS tracking project under the Apache License. Would require a server running the OpenGTS. From the demos looks very promising.

OpenGTS is pretty much ideal for this project as it seems very powerful and flexible and has a nice install guide, but I’m open to other ideas.


  • Jeff Crowell (Project Leader)

Meeting Minutes for 2010-09-15

buildscc | 15 Sep 2010 | | meeting-minutes

Minutes 9/15/2010


John-Nicholas Furst

  • returning members/ memorial for Jim Chatham
  • Will be talking to Elmore about musical stairs w/ memorial on it

Valerie Young

  • meeting for Musical Stairs
    • works by using infrared trip wires
    • sign up for the mailing list by talking to val and sign up on the wiki

Kyle Brogle

  • new project - writing a web interface for majordomo
    • one of the servers in builds is now a functioning MTA and majordomo listserv
    • want to make it awesome and pitch it to IS&T
      • talk to kyle and john about this, it will make you awesome at unix/linux hacking

John-Nicholas Furst

  • The Rules
    • revamping the rules posters to make them stand out
    • reiterating - BUILDS has a secure private wifi network.
      • Do not torrent illegally in the room.
      • Do not pick locks that are not yours (including university property, like your room’s door).
      • Do not use powertools when classes are being taught across the hall.
      • Do not leave things that get hot (e.g. soldering irons) unattended.

Monica Gribouski

  • The Party Switch
    • talk to john, monica, david, kyle.
    • Disco balls, lights, etc. activated by the switch on the mural.

Kyle Brogle

  • Intro to Unix/Linux workshop.
    • For people who arent familiar with working for Unix/Linux.
    • Will start within one/two weeks.
    • After the members are up to speed, we will start the advanced workshops.
    • planning a 3 section system (Intro, Intermediate, Advanced)
    • The idea is to have a self contained class covering everything - great for cs majors!

John Keklak

  • Score Competition (Software Engineering Competition)
    • happens every other year
    • Not an ordinary programming competition, it’s an oppurtunity to get familiar with software design
    • not so much coding, but planning/design
    • finals are in Hawaii this year
      • he is an mentor for the program
      • Select a project to work on
      • Just send in an email
      • registration for teams goes on until november
    • John is handling all the adminstrative work.

John-Nicholas Furst

  • project pages are now on the wiki
    • Log in to your accounts so you get access to the projects
    • EG Musical Staircase, DebDog, Unix/Linux,…
    • HOW TO-
      • Click on the on project takes you to the wiki click “Join this Project” Now your name is on the list/mailing list
    • Project manager can now organize and send out emails to members

Kyle Brogle

  • CS topics in the Area
    • Jessica hamrick, President, Student Information Processing Board (SIPB)
      • 8pm on Tuesdays
    • SIPB is interested in having a joint Hackathon with BUILDS
      • Just come in and work on awesome projects or work on your own

Valerie Young

  • How to request items
    • Put it on the BUILDS List and request for funds
    • Contact the officers

Additional topics

  • new monitors, thanks to avo. ideas for use?
  • Project Proposals
    • Creating a replica “Portal” gun. - Sophia
    • The BUS is now GPS-equipt. We want to make tracking applications better. (talk to john, Jeff C)
    • MAME arcade cabinent in BUILDS (Ian)

meeting ended 7:10

Intro to Linux

buildscc | 14 Sep 2010 | | workshops, events

Intro to Linux

  • What is UNIX, differences, how to install
  • root filesystem - directory structure etc, bin, lib, usr, home, sbin
  • bash shell (common things: ls, mkdir, rm, touch]
  • Emacs, gedit
  • package management synaptic and aptitude
  • ssh
  • file permissions [chown, chmod, chgrp]

To do:

  • get live CDs
  • doodle when is a good time for all interested parties
  • talk with LUG
  • advertising

Printer Hunt

buildscc | 08 Sep 2010 | | projects

Printer Hunt

For the debDog package bu-printing-config, people expressed the desire to include more than just the myprint printers. I therefore propose a printer hunt! Just fill in the table with any info you have on a printer that you want put into the package.

NOTE: Departmental printers are bad, since they tend to change info fairly often, and most people would get yelled at for printing to them (even if it was auto-magically sic configured in an amazingly novel way).

{ border = “1” ! Printer Name ! Location ! IP Address ! Controlling department/entity - Please   Put   Data   Here -   }

Meeting Minutes for 2010-09-08

buildscc | 08 Sep 2010 | | meeting-minutes

BUILDS Meeting

9/8/2010 6:30pm

Kyle Brogle

  • Introductions
    • Welcome back…improvements to room:
    • Everything is labelled and in its place.
    • Now have plenty of workspace, planning for ethernet and power drops to the long center table in near future.

John-Nicholas Furst

  • Door no longer RFID; you now swipe magstripe cards to get in.
  • New and existing members NEED to get BUILDS accounts @
  • What does the BUILDS website account give you access to?
    • The wiki
    • Wordpress features of site.
    • The door
    • Ability to join projects you are interested in through the BUILDS site.
  • BUILDS phone line is 617 358 1164; call to see if people are inside, especially if the exterior building is locked.

Kyle Brogle

  • Current projects
    • debdog. Automated debian config packages for computers using the BU network. “Like BU Linux, only better”
      • Hopefully we can get IS&T to eventually recommend as an alternative to BU Linux in the future.
      • Talk to Kyle if interested.

Valerie Young

  • Musical staircase
    • Great way to be introduced with practical engineering project. talk to Valerie, et al.

Kyle Brogle

  • New project proposals:
    • Circuit-bending instrument construction
    • Creating a “T tracker” using Google Maps API
    • Using terrain data and Google Maps API to map most efficient (see:downhill) routes for longboarding and biking.
    • Building a tube amp / stereo tube amp (which is just two mono ones).
    • Expanding surface area on vacuum to create enough suction to climb buildings. (Spidervac?)
    • Tesla coil
  • What kind of workshops do people want taught?
    • Intro to unix, linux, programming languages.
    • Intro to the room’s powertools.
    • Intro to developing and building with arduinos.
    • Practical electronics (a.k.a. “What Electrical Circuit Theory should have taught you”)
    • Lockpicking Basics seminar
    • Videogame programming techniques (and game design)
    • Potential collaboration with machinists in basement of 15 St. Mary’s Street.
    • Someone mentioned talking with Jinara Reyes for ENG project grants.
  • What workshops do people want to teach?
    • John-Nicholas Furst: Web programming/design (beginning to advanced)
      • Basic to advanced C or C++ (socket programming especially for advanced)
  • Kyle Brogle: Something about security/vulnerability
  • Keisuke Nakayama: Art workshops!
  • Jeff Crowell: Computer graphics
  • John-Nicholas Furst: Videogame collective
  • Ian Felder: BUILDS minecraft server
  • Meeting scheduling
    • Kyle will send out doodle.

—> meeting ended.

Furst Labs

buildscc | 08 Sep 2010 | | about

Furst Labs was founded in 2000 with the primary goal of creating advanced interaction between biological and mechanical systems.

Furst Labs’ principals have substantial real-world experience in the fields of medicine and robotics. Furst Labs’ founder and CEO, John-Nicholas Furst, has spent over eight years focusing on the integration of automated mechanical systems and biological systems.

John-Nicholas has presented at the Intel Science and Engineering Fair and the Junior Science and Humanities Symposium. His research in renewable energy has been featured at the International Engineering Expo.

John-Nicholas is an invited member of American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a member of American Physics Society.

John-Nicholas is currently an undergraduate studying Biomedical Engineering and Computer Engineering at Boston University.

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